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Community News,
Civil Rights

Nov. 8, 2023

Legal hotline will help students facing antisemitism on campus

Volunteer lawyers from other firms and companies, as well as from other organizations, are invited to participate in this project.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP joined the Anti-Defamation League, Hillel and The Brandeis Center to set up a national hotline to report instances of antisemitism on U.S. campuses.

“There is no place for antisemitism, racism, Islamophobia, or hate of any kind in a just and humane society. We believe it is our responsibility and privilege to provide free legal services to communities in need, and this collaboration will serve that mission and help keep students safe,” Barbara Becker, Gibson Dunn’s chair and managing partner, said in a statement.

Students at campuses across the nation have reported a rise in anti-semitic instances since the terrorist group Hamas invaded Israel on Oct. 7, killing more than 1,400 people, many of them children. The Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law said it has heard from more Jewish students in the past three weeks than in the last year combined.

Last week, dozens of law firms sent a letter to several law schools warning they must end antisemitism on their campuses or risk their students being shut out of the legal job market. Dean Erwin Chemerinsky at UC Berkeley School of Law wrote in the Los Angeles Times: “Nothing has prepared me for the antisemitism I see on college campuses now.”

The Campus Antisemitism Legal Line – jointly run by ADL, Brandeis, Hillel and Gibson Dunn – will provide legal advice and coordinate volunteer lawyers from other leading law firms, including Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP. Volunteer lawyers from other firms, companies and organizations are invited to participate.

“Since the brutal terrorist attack on Israel on Oct. 7, there has been an alarming rise in antisemitism and hate directed toward Jewish college students,” said Adam Lehman, Hillel International president and CEO. “Alongside building flourishing Jewish campus communities and educating university presidents and leadership, this is an important tool for reducing campus antisemitism. Every student deserves to pursue their studies and live their full college experience in a safe and secure campus environment — and Jewish students are no exception.”

Mindful that some have accused people trying to curb antisemitism on campus of muzzling students’ speech rights, ADLNational Director Jonathan Greenblatt said “We don’t need a cancel culture on campus. We need a consequences culture.”

“No longer will anyone be able to harass Jewish students with impunity, and no longer will a university or school be able to just look the other way,” Greenblatt said.


Douglas Saunders Sr.

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